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Looking for support to get through next few days while I wait for results on possible pancreatic cancer.

Angie1974
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

I guess the title says it all.

I recenty though I had a stomach ulcer- I took the medicines for two months, but the pain in my right rib and left rib won't go away.

So I went for a cat scan to see if I had gallstones. I do have gallstones- and I need my gallbladder taken out. But what shocked me was the 2cm mass in my pancreas they found while cat scanning my gallbladder.

They sent me for an MRI.

Now on Thursday I am having a needle biopsy.

The Drs say I dont have pancreatitis, and don't know why I have a constant ache on my left side. All they tell me is that I am waiting on the needle biospy to see what kind of cells thay are. I asked if it would be a cyst- and my Dr said that it wasnt a cyst- that theres was no fluid- and thats its solid.

I know they think I have cancer.

Since then I have been in shock and poring over the internet to learn the shocking statisitcs of this disease. I am scared and afraid of this cancer, the treatments (whipple, chemo, etc).

I feel like my breath has been sucked out of me. I dont see how this can not be cancer- I dont see how I can can cope if it is. A 2cm cancer- I will be dead in 6 months?

The intnernet says only a few candidates get the whipple, and only a few of them that do are alive 5 years later. The internet says most people with PC die within 6 months of diagnosis.
The internet is not my freind.

My poor gallbladder has fallen by the wayside. I dont see how a gallbaldder attack led to PC. I was ok with the gallbladder surgery. But I never even knew this was a consideration....I am only 35. I only just bought my house, planted trees and flowers. I am not ready to die.

I cant come to terms with this. I dont see how I can get through the next few days with this constant terror. I just feel constant terror. I take xanax and sleeping pills, and they help and I have a supportive husband. We are just struggling with this step: the wait for results.

Thank you for listening
Angie

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

(((((Angie))))). First: BIG HUG, Angie! I don't know all that much about pancreatic cancer, but I do personally know people being treated for it who got chemo with me, and they seemed to be doing pretty darn good and were very optimistic about their prognosis. And I DO know that anything that you read that is older than a 2007 or 2008 about any cancer on the internet is no longer relevant. There have been huge strides in treatments and survival rates! Just to prove that to you, try 'google-ing' my cancer type: "Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma, Stage III-c." When I got my diagnosis, I did exactly what you have been doing, looked up everything I could find. I cried so hard, because the internet said I had a 17% chance of surviving 5 years. Well, guess what, the 5 year survival/cure rate for my cancer NOW, in 2009, with aggressive treatment, is 60%! Here I thought I'd been given a death sentence, just like you do. After my surgery and chemo, my CT-scan shows NO Evidence of Disease! I am still getting radiation, because I want to be SURE we get it all, but I know I have better than a 50/50 shot that I will be cured.

Please don't give up! And don't believe ANYTHING you read that is older than 1 or 2 years. You will find long-tine pancreatic cancer survivors posting here. So even if it turns out to be cancer, please don't dispair. Cancer is often survivable, and treatments are so much more do-able than you imagine. BIG HUGS, again!

SaschaSue
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Angie,

Sorry you have had to seek out this message board. I just thought I would tell you that I was dx with pancreatic cancer at the age of 41. A shock is an understatement as you can appreciate. I too went through the same processes you are now doing. However, I would counsel you to avoid the internet except for a couple of sites, namely Pan CAn and the Johns Hopkins pancreatic cancer forum plus this site. Cancer Compass is another you can try. To be totally honest, even those sites can put the fear of God in you, so it may be better for you to leave them be for the moment.

If I listened to the frightening statistics I would have gone mad! I was dx 2 years ago, my tumour was 3 cm - I was lucky & could be operated on as it was close to margins. I followed up with chemotherapy then chemo-radiotherapy. That all finished nearly a year ago. All scans etc have been clear since. I am now back at work & feeling as good as ever without any complications.

I totally understand your fears. I had the same ones. I coped by taking things step by step, day by day and dealt only with what was put in front of me. Difficult though it is, try to focus just on the next procedure and think that you are your own statistic and at 35 you are probably a lot fitter than the average person diagnosed with PC (average age is 65), so whatever may be thrown at you in the coming weeks you will tolerate better and recover from quicker than most. Lets hope that your mass is benign and you won't need to tread this route.

Try to remain positive. There is a lot to be said for the physical effects a positive attitude has (my doctors have told me this many times) and I have tried to remain positive throughout even though it has been very tough at times.

All I can say now is good luck and let me know via this forum if you need any advise/info.

God Bless,

Sascha Sue

aksteve's picture
aksteve
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2006

sorry for all you are going through. but also, dont count your chickens before they are hatched. i lerned that one in my last diagnosis. they thought for SURE it was a recurrence of the HOdgkins, turns out it was a malignant Insulinoma (pancreas) so just when you think you got it, you get big ol curveball. good luck!

jcandler
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2009

Angie,

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I can remember the day, 12/28/2004, being told that I had pancreatic cancer. Like you, I believed that I would be dead within a year, because that is what the statistics say, but I am still here 4 1/2 years later.

I had just turned 49 two months previous. All I could think of was leaving my wife alone and not being able to watch my grandchildren grow up. The 1st day and that night were the hardest. I believe that a decision I made that night prepared me for everything that was to come.

I was in the hospital already when I was told I had pancreatic cancer. My doctor had put me there due to my bilirubin being dangerously high. The hospital was full, so I had to stay in a room in the ER. After my wife went home, I just laid in my bed for hours, not being able to sleep. All of a sudden I said out loud, Satan, you may kill me with this disease, but you will not win. You are trying to drive a wedge between me and God, but it isn't going to happen. I am sure that I am going to die, but in the long run, you will loose and I will win." After that I said to God, "Father, I don't want to die, but I will do what Your will is. All I am asking is that my family is provided for." Right then a warm feeling came over me, I knew that my family was going to be okay, even though I was going to die.

I was discharged from the hospital on 12/31/2004 and that was another hard day. Seeing the new year coming in and believing that would be my last, torn me up. As the clock struck midnight, I broke down.

Every step of the way during my treatment, I believed that I was going to die within a year. I chose to focus on living everyday, joking around more than usual, and really enjoying my family. I very seldom thought about my cancer. There were days that were hard. For no apparent reason, I would start to cry, but I learned those days helped me make it through the other days. The support of my family was great, but I still felt alone. I did not know of anyone who had survived this cancer. Everything I was hearing was how someone had died from it. I realize that others have cancer, but even they do not really understand what terrors pancreatic cancer causes.

You need to keep your head held high. I have no doubt that you will still be posting next year about your surgery and treatment. Stay positive and focus on life. Just remember that everything is possible with God.

Joe

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